Podium finish for UCD as Ad Astra stars win big at the National Track and Field Championships
Posted 31 July, 2023
The National Indoor Championships saw three UCD Ad Astra Elite Athletes achieve top billing on the podium, with track stars Sarah Healy and Israel Olatunde, and hammer thrower Nicola Tuthill each claiming gold medals.
Fresh off their historic Irish 1-2 medal finish at the European Athletics U23 Championships, Healy once again competed for the gold against Sophie O’Sullivan.
A tactical race from the start, Sarah Healy (UCD) digs deep to hang on to win the Women’s 1500m National Senior Title from O’Sullivan— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) July 30, 2023
Just two weeks ago these same girls were celebrating their amazing gold and silver at the European U23’s
Sophie O’Sullivan (Ballymore… pic.twitter.com/C3KvD8rjHB
The intriguing rematch between the European U23 medallists saw the pair go toe-to-toe from the start at Morton Stadium but this time it was the UCD law student who came out ahead - mustering a final surge to break free of O’Sullivan to win her third outdoor 1500m title in a time of 4:11.39.
The competitive race also saw fellow UCD AC member Ellie Hartnett finish in third with a time of 4:30.58.
It was a great weekend for many @UCDAC_bears club members who exceled at the @irishathletics National Track and Field Championships— UCD Sport (@ucdsportsclubs) July 31, 2023
Read our full roundup https://t.co/y8A5sRkmMq pic.twitter.com/MIYarU3DRy
In the men's senior 100m, European U23 finalist Israel Olatunde delivered on his title as 'Ireland's fastest man' – claiming his third national title in a row with a finishing time of 10.50.
The UCD athlete had strong competition though from UCD AC clubmate Bori Akinola, who's time of 10:58 saw him join Israel on the podium with silver.
The women’s hammer saw UCD Science student Nicola Tuthill produce another brilliant performance, claiming gold with a best throw of 67.67m – a toss just 18 centimetres off her own Irish U23 record.
Alongside Sarah Healy and Israel Olatunde, the Cork native was among the 31 Irish athletes who competed at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Finland earlier this month.
Elsewhere, in the men's 800m competition, UCD AC member Mark Milner claimed bronze with a time of 1:48.48.
UCD alumni and former Ad Astra Elite Athlete Sarah Lavin continued her brilliant form with double gold, claiming her 8th outdoor 100m hurdles title, and set three personal best performances on her way to winning the 100m.
By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations
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